Wildcats cruise into Class 3A state finals

Matthew Busch/The Herald
The Jasper baseball team hoisted the semistate placard Saturday afternoon at Ruxer Field after the Wildcats stomped Crawfordsville 11-1 in six innings to advance to next weekend's Class 3A state championship game. For a gallery of photos, click here.

From Herald Staff Reports

It's been one-way traffic for top-ranked Jasper through the Class 3A baseball state tournament, and that continued in Saturday's single-game semistate that earned the Wildcats a spot in the state finals.

The top-ranked Wildcats clobbered No. 7 Crawfordsville 11-1 in six innings at Ruxer Field, and they're bound for The Circle City for next weekend's state championship. Jasper (32-3) will tangle with No. 3 Norwell (32-3) for the 3A title at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Victory Field in Indianapolis. The Cats will be seeking their sixth state title and first since 2006, when they topped upcoming state finals foe Norwell 13-12.

Jasper has outscored its six opponents in the state tournament by a combined score of 56-7. The trend continued in the semistate as Nick Gobert (9-0) muted the Athenians by scattering three hits over five innings. Mark Giesler pitched the sixth to close the deal for Jasper, which continually hammered away offensively at Crawfordsville (25-11).

Teammates mobbed Jasper senior pitcher Mark Giesler after he recorded the game's final out.

Spencer Otto first mashed an RBI double to plate the game's first run in the second inning before the junior unloaded on a three-run home run the next frame, nudging Jasper's lead to 5-0. The Cats gradually built on to their lead, as eight of nine Wildcat starters recorded at least one hit and Andy Knust scored three runs.

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